CURRENT VERSION IS SEY 2003
For an updated discussion of keyword targeting, please refer to the current
version of the Search Engine Yearbook.
André le Roux
How can you double your site traffic
without doubling your effort?
Yes, proper keyword targeting.
Which keywords will your customers
enter into the search box when looking for your product? If youve
been guessing up to now, you no longer have to.
Heres a strategy that works
well for me:
Type the root form of your best keyword
a little application you can download for free. It then shows you how
many people use that keyword and it also shows 99 variations of the
word listed from most used to least used.
Study that list closely for variations
or synonyms you didnt think of. Use the GoodKeywords list to make
your own list of possible keywords to target.
Next, take your list to Google. Type
in the words you want to target and look at a couple of the sites listed
in the top 10. Can you beat them? Remember to look at their PageRank
an inbound links too.
Scrap from your list the ones for
which you cant compete. If you cant compete on any of your
words, go back to GoodKeywords and aim lower.
Take a close look at the site listed
in the number 1 slot for each of your keywords. Remember that keywords
in links pointing to that site also count, so look at those too by doing
a search for link:www.your-competitors-domain-here.com on Google.
All thats left now is to out-optimize that site. Yes,
not that easy. Consider buying the Search
Engine Yearbook for a fighting chance of winning in the search engine
As a general rule you should not target
bigger, more competitive keywords. If you can rank well for them, then
go for it, but usually they are a waste of time. You should focus on
efforts on keywords that will bring top 10 rankings. Im currently
experimenting with a more blanketed strategy (versus a targeted one).
Heres what I learned from the
I noticed that my best (very competitive)
keyword delivers 4% of my total search engine traffic. The second best
2.5% and so on. In total my top 20 keywords are responsible for almost
19% of my search engine traffic.
I was disappointed when I saw that.
It means that all my efforts to optimize for those 20 keywords only
bring less than one fifth of my search engine traffic. The other 81%
type in words I didnt think of or combinations of words or they
include keywords in phrases.
So right now Im experimenting
with ways to include more variations of keywords. Although most experts
will tell you to focus each page narrowly on one keyword, I think it
might pay off to optimize for groups of related keywords especially
Anyway, Im still playing with that. Ill report on my findings
in my Electronic Light newsletter. (You can subscribe for Electronic
Light by sending a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org)
page is based on information contained in the Search Engine Yearbook 2003.
For more detailed search engine information & help, please refer to the
current version of the book.
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